WE made sure Christmas Day was a relaxed affair at our house.
Both our daughters and their families were in Ireland so Maria and I spent it alone. We got up, I had a shower and Maria had a bath, and we put on our new pyjamas.
Not just any old pyjamas, but new ones bought specially. We were bobby dazzlers, even if there was no one else to see us.
I cooked breakfast and we read and watched selective programmes on TV and phoned family in Donegal and Seattle.
Maria cooked a turkey breast dinner, with her special Italian stuffing, with which we had a quiet drink in the evening. All very civilised.
"That's not much of a Christmas," friends said, when we told them what we had planned, ready to feel sorry for us.
It may not fit the traditional concept of the season but it did us very nicely.
There was no dashing about, no responsibility of being host and hostess, no trying to be on our best behaviour in someone else's house without saying: that's not the way to make gravy, and no taxi service.
In the past, we enjoyed Christmas as children, then we made sure our daughters enjoyed it when they were growing up. We even made sure the older generation was looked after. But now they have gone and Maria and I are the older generation.
So this year, for a change, we simply put out feet up and let the rest of the world take care of itself.
Maybe next year we’ll make the effort and have Christmas in Ireland with everyone else.